-Interview- Hexproof (12/15/17)

Hexproof talks about their unique sound development, the Florida music scene and much more.


From: Clearwater, FL
Sounds like: Alternative Punk/Experimental Rock

1. How did you get started with music?

James Touchton - I started out in the middle school band playing tuba, but then I switched to the guitar.

Michael Miranda - I started playing at age 15 when I was in high school. I didn't have a choice because I just needed an extra class, and didn't intend to take music, but I’m glad did because I wouldn’t have learned to love and value it like I do now.

Atlanta Horsman - I’ve been singing since the fourth grade and loving everything about music. It's amazing how someone can create different sounds that people want to listen to, sometimes over and over again.

The Great White Dope - I began studying percussion late in my seventh grade year. I didn't start on drum-set until high school though.

Sean Wallace - I began to read music in first grade, picked up the flute in fourth grade, then guitar at age 11, shortly followed by bass and drums afterward.

2. How did you develop your sound?

JT - We developed our sound by pooling our influences together to make something that sounds good.

MM - I just played everything I could until I found what I liked.

AH - I’ve had my favorite bands throughout the years, and I really just wanted something that sounded energetic, different, and relatable as far as the lyrics go.

GWD - I developed my sound by continually listening to more and more music, and by learning how to pick out the individual instruments in songs and how they come together to make the entire experience. It's helped me to tailor what I play in a song to every rhythmic line, every inflection, every nuance from the other instruments on a track.

SW - Pulling the smallest aspects from every bit of music I hear -regardless of genre or artist - is how I have been influenced as a player, and that is how I approach this project with some good friends.

3. Who thought of “Hexproof”, and is there a meaning behind it?

GROUP - Loosely, the term means: 'Nothing can touch us!' See, Horsman landed on the name of "Hexproof" with the aid of a former member of the formerly acoustic duo. The term originally hails from the card game, "Magic: The Gathering", but we as a group have come to use the term to represent the fact that even though most of us come from environments where people call us immature or foolish for constantly pushing so vigorously, so tirelessly, and with so much determination to reach our goals, we will not let anything or anyone stop us from accomplishing our dreams of sharing our sounds with the world no matter who or what tells us we can't do it!

4. What do you want people to take away for your music?

JT - I want people to hear my music and feel good.

MM - I want people to be able to feel the emotion of each song to really understand like I did when I first started listening to music, because it can be freeing.

AH - I want them to feel that our music is relatable, it stands out, and it's inspiring.

GWD - Whatever they please. Hopefully something positive. Fact is though, once you release music or any other medium of art into the world, it is no longer yours. You may have the trademark, the copyright, the credit -- but you don't own how it affects the world. You don't own what people think of your art, and what your music means to someone else belongs solely to that person. But if you hate my music, you know, keep talking about it anyway. After all, what is all publicity?

SW - I guess I'd want people to hear it and remember things they haven't remembered in a long time - or maybe even things that they've thought about every day for the past few years. I want them to just think of where they've been, and where they haven't been, and what's happened to them, and what they've done to others, and what or where they what to be in life, and express everything tied to those things through art.

5. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

JT - Our sound is unique and heavy.

MM - I'm not sure how to describe our sound, you just have to listen to it and form your own thoughts.

AH - I don't think anyone can really define us as just one genre.

GWD - The best term that I've found for what I go for is “Genre-Agnostic”. I enjoy at least some parts of all styles of music out there, and I cull influence from the music I like, so that gives me a wide palate of colors I can draw from to lay down what I think will add an extra dimension to a song.

SW - Realistically, I think some might describe us as a group heavily influenced by classic rock, but with subtle hints of modern experimental music.

6. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

JT - Coheed & Cambria, Led Zepplin, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

MM - Foo Fighters, TOOL, and Dream Theater.

AH - Paramore, Circa Survive, and Dance Gavin Dance Dance.

GWD - Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, and Flaming Lips.

SW - Circa Survive, Goo Goo Dolls, and Incubus.

7. What are your three desert islands albums that you’d never get tired of listening to?

JT - "Morning View" by Incubus, "Blue Album" by Weezer, and "Animals" by Pink Floyd.

MM - Any three albums by Foo Fighters.

AH - "Instant Gratification" by Dance Gavin Dance, "Brand New Eyes" by Paramore, and “Enemy Of The World" by Four Year Strong.

GWD - "Under The Western Freeway" by Grandaddy, "Madvillainy" by Madvillain, and "Gimme Fiction" by Spoon.

SW - "Blue Sky Noise" by Circa Survive, "Somewhere At The Bottom Of The River Between Vega & Altair" by La Dispute, and "Zombie EP" by The Devil Wears Prada.

8. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?

JT - Art has its ups and downs, and its very subjective; I think its going good even if people barely pay for music any more.

MM - The current state of rock is dying a horrible death thanks to pop culture, and it seems like its starting to regress slowly.

AH - I think a lot of music has become more “mainstream”, so most things classified as Rock nowadays aren't actually Rock.

GWD - There are maybe 10 to 15 current rock bands that I actively look forward to new music from, and that's coming from a guy who listens to a lot of music. This is to say that I think there’s still good things happening in rock, but the genre certainly feels like it's lost some steam.

SW - I feel that the term was originally used in society's desperate effort to categorize the broad spectrum of new sounds that could not be defined into simply one genre at the time - perhaps as we use the term "Experimental" presently in drastic effort to categorize all of the new sounds we're hearing today - what we once knew as [Rock] had become too broad.

9. What’s the current music scene like there in Florida both locally and state wide?

JT - I don’t know about state wide, but orlando seems pretty active. Locally, it has ups and downs, and its kind of down right now.

MM - I have no idea what the music scene down here is, I’ve just recently gotten involved.

AH - I think other cities shine more than others as far a local band presence, but I think all of those cities have seen decline in the ways of losing supporters, venues closing, or bands breaking up for little to no reason - which is why we always try our hardest to go the extra mile and keep it alive.

GWD - Pop punk, metal, "fill-in-the-blank"-core. SoundCloud rappers, gas station mixtapes, trap music everywhere. There is virtually no in-between.

SW - There are a few hot spots throughout the state at a local scene level, and more often than not, artists on a larger scale skip out on coming to Florida because "It's too out of the way", or because "They don't sell as well as a lot of other states and countries". For the most part, there is a huge lack of fellowship and support for artists of all kinds and all levels due to a tourist based (or 'Bar Scene') economy.

10. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

JT - It hurts the artists; if they can’t make money from their music, they can't make more music.

MM - It can be good and bad. If someone can’t afford the music but happens to get the music free, that person could become a fan and promote the artist to others. If there is too much illegal downloading on the other hand, then the artist would not be able to release new material.

AH - If you like a band, support them; it's as simple as that.

GWD - Everyone should be able to listen to music before they buy it, but if you like it, support it.

SW - I think free streaming should be an available option for the bands that want to stream their stuff for free, but I feel that it should be illegal otherwise.

11. What’s next for Hexproof?

GROUP - All we can disclose right now is that there is A LOT of crazy stuff going behind the scenes, and even wilder stuff approaching on the horizon ...but it wouldn't be any fun if we went and gave it away, now would it?

12. Any shoutouts?

GROUP - We'd simply just like to give a huge "Thank You!" to all of the people who have shown us even the slightest bit of support throughout our journey, whether it be in the form of listening to a few seconds of one of our songs, or sharing a post, throwing us a few bucks toward helping us reach our dream in exchange for merchandise, or clapping at a show, referring us to a friend, or anything at all! Also, thank you to anyone that's ever told us we can't do this; we're certainly looking forward to proving you wrong.

GWD continues: "Tana and Trey, you guys are the best."